What is the best tuner for a 5.9 Cummins?

This article covers a few options and explains which tuner – programmer I feel is best for a 5.9 Cummins truck and why.  I will discuss tuning platforms I use and some I don’t:

I offer custom 5.9 Cummins Engine and 48RE Transmission tuning through the following platforms:

  • Smarty UDC Pro (Smarty MM3 & Smarty Touch Compatible)
  • HP Tuners (MPIV2 & Edge CTS2 Pro Compatible)

My First Choice of Tuners for 03-07 5.9 Cummins Trucks:

MM3 and Smarty Touch:

The MM3 is my 1st choice in tuners and I’ll explain why below; but BOTH the MM3 and Smarty Touch share an important feature which makes them hands down the safest tuning platform: Automated failed flash recovery. I had a customer on one of the other platforms below experience an interrupted flash which left him dead in the water. The company actually requested he send his ECM in to have it reset to the factory tune.

Had this happened with an MM3 or Smarty Touch tuner, recovery would have taken 5 minutes.

The Smarty MM3 and Smarty Touch are very similar but have some key differences. The Smarty Touch is a touch screen tuner with different power level tunes pre-installed. These tunes don’t include any transmission tuning on 03-07 5.9 Cummins trucks.

The MM3 Tuner is my 1st choice in tuners because it has a lower price and it comes with the Smarty Comm Mod (a $209 value and required for On The Fly Tuning). To contrast, a Smarty Touch customer would have to buy the Smarty Touch at a higher price than the MM3 and then add the comm mod for an extra $209. If you’re in the market for custom tuning, I don’t see any benefit to paying the higher initial costs of the Smarty Touch because you will most likely never use the pre-installed tunes it comes with.

With that said, The Smarty Touch can accept custom tuning, so if you already own one place an order and send me your stock file! I started with a Smarty Touch and still use it today, running the same tunes I’m selling here.

Both the MM3 and Smarty Touch are superior in data-logging capabilities over any other platform listed which is key in nailing down any trouble spots with your tune.

The MM3 can be purchased directly from me on my Products page HERE.

HP Tuners MPIV2:

This platform is by far the most economical way to get my tunes into your truck. The initial cost for the tuning software and hardware (MPVI2) is $299.99 and you’ll need 2 credits at $50 each for a total cost of $399.99 plus the cost of your custom tunes.

The main limitations of this platform are that you will need your laptop whenever you want to change tunes; there is no true on the fly tuning, and there is no failed flash recovery.

The MPVI2 can be purchased directly from HP Tuners below:

EFI Live:

I do not use EFI Live primarily because it does not cover all of the years I work on.  EFI Live only works on 2006-2007 trucks.  On those trucks it is a capable tuning platform, but does not offer push-button on the fly tuning nor does it come with a gauge screen.

Edge CTS2 Pro:

This platform is the flashiest of them all and offers support for a backup camera and user added gauges. It can hold four tunes and the cost is currently $530.96. This platform also requires two HP Tuners credits which adds $100 at the time of ordering your tunes. The CTS2 also has the similar limitations as the HP Tuners MPVI2; no on the fly tuning and no failed flash recovery.

The CTS2 can be purchased directly from the Edge website Here

Edge CTS3:

The Edge CTS3 IS NOT a custom tunable platform… Full Stop.

No matter which tuning platform you choose, I have you covered.


See my tuning in action…

High Altitude 12 Valve Tune Cold Start

An early version of my towing tune…